For the nearly five decades since the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion, that right has been under attack by state legislators. But the high court has stood by its landmark decision in Roe vs. Wade over and over again in the rulings that followed.
Now the justices have taken a case that could result in that bedrock precedent — a pillar of a woman’s ability to control her body and her life — being overturned. On Monday, the high court agreed to weigh in on a Mississippi state law that bans abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. A federal district court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals both found the law unconstitutional because Roe guarantees a right to an abortion up to the point when a fetus would be viable outside the woman’s body, which is around 24 weeks of gestation.